TRADOC commander promotes new SMDC leader
August 19, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Prior to taking command of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Maj. Gen. David L. Mann needed one more item on his uniform, a third star.
Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, promoted Mann to lieutenant general during a private ceremony in the Von Braun III building Aug. 12.
"I am so impressed with David's vision, his intelligence, his high standards and his ability as a gifted communicator that I really wanted to be here to be a part of this," Cone said. "And what a great community SMDC has. It is great to be here. There is no finer organization in the Army than SMDC.
"One of my jobs is as the head of leader development in our Army," Cone added. "And when you see a guy of Dave Mann's talents, you've got to say 'how does the Army grow a leader to have these qualifications to take command of this tremendously complicated, technically based endeavor?' I think the Army got it right, and I am honored to be a part of today's event."
Shortly after the promotion, Cone reissued Mann with his oath of office. After the swearing-in, Mann spoke to those in attendance.
"I thank you all for joining us this morning," he said. "This means a lot to me and my family. We are truly excited to be here.
"The vitally important mission this command does for the nation is amazing," Mann added. "I am just so thrilled and honored to be able to join this team that is focused on space capabilities as well as protecting our country, and those of our allies from ballistic missiles. It is an honor."
Mann thanked his family who traveled to witness the historic occasion and said that they were the biggest reason he is where he is today.
"Most importantly I want to thank my family," Mann said. "I can't love you enough and thank you for making the trip to be here.
"My wife Robyn is without a doubt the kindest, most compassionate, loving person I have ever met," he added. "I know you all feel that way about your better halves, but I'm here to tell you, she's the one. She has taken care of so many military families throughout the years and I am honored to be her husband."
Mann was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery upon graduation from Millersville University in 1981. His first assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery, 25th Infantry Division, in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Mann has served at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Monroe, Va.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Washington, DC; Fort Campbell, Ky.; White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; and Fort Knox, Ky.
Mann's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three oak leaf clusters), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal (oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal (oak leaf cluster), Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Recruiter Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and Army Staff Identification Badge.
He was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom twice, as well as Operation Sea Signal, among other deployments.